Friday, June 20, 2008

Which side are you on?

The Yankees took steps to fix both their rotation and their bullpen woes when they drafted righty/lefty Pat Venditte in the 20th round in the First Year Player Draft earlier this month.

You read that right, righty-lefty. Venditte is ambidextrous.

According to Creighton coach Ed Servais, Venditte can reach up to 90 mph when throwing right handed, and 82 mph left handed with a nasty slider.

The pick couldn't have come at a better time for the Yanks, with Joba Chamberlain's move to the rotation leaving their bullpen sorely lacking any semblance of a quality arm and Chien-Ming Wang's season ending injury depleting even further a make-shift rotation that has battled injury problems all year long.

So will Venditte be the 4th and 5th pitcher in the rotation? Throw righty one day and lefty the next? Will he come in in relief of himself? Will he switch sides on a batter to batter basis? Does he get to sign two contracts? So many possibilities...

The most likely scenario is that Venditte is nothing more than a novelty who won't make the show from any side of the mound, but see the video below for clips of him already wreaking havoc in low level ball for the Staten Island Yankees. If you go here, you can watch an extended version of the at-bat. Good stuff, happy Friday.

In other Bad Baseball news from Thursday night...

Brewers starter Dave Bush nearly watched a gem of an outing go up in flames thanks to the Crew's bullpen horrendous support in relief against the Blue Jays. Bush took a no hitter into the 8th inning only to watch Tim Dillard and David Riske combine for two outs, 4 hits, and 6 runs. Salomon Torres was needed to save the day... literally. He picked up the save, which never should have been needed. Jays starter A.J. Burnett also struggled, allowing 8 runs on 8 hits over 5 innings of work.

Things got ugly in Chicago for the Pirates - White Sox match-up. Bucs starter Phil Dumatrait allowed 9 runs on 11 hits in 5 innings, and John Grabow kept things alive in the 6th when he allowed 4 runs on 3 hits in an inning of relief. For the White Sox, of the 8 runs they gave up, only 2 were earned.

The Cubs bullpen was out of control against the Rays. Carlos Marmol was on record for 4 runs without even allowing a hit, walking two and hitting two. Scott Eyre allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and recorded the only out between the two pitchers in the seventh inning.

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